Northern California Megaregion

Northern California Megaregion

Northern California: The Northern California Megaregion (also Northern California Megalopolis), distinct from Northern California, is an urbanized region of California consisting of many large cities including San Francisco, San Jose, Sacramento, and Oakland. There are varying definitions of the megaregion, but it is generally seen as encompassing the San Francisco Bay Area, the Sacramento area, northern San Joaquin Valley, and the Monterey Bay Area.

The most common definition of the megaregion consists of the San Jose–San Francisco–Oakland Combined Statistical Area, the Sacramento-Roseville-Arden-Arcade Metropolitan Statistical Area, the Yuba City Metropolitan Statistical Area, the Modesto-Merced Combined Statistical Area, and the Salinas Metropolitan Area. Under this definition, the megaregion was home to 12.6 million residents in 2017, and had a GDP of $1.06 trillion, resulting in a GDP per capita of $84,460. The megaregion thus accounted for 3.9% of the U.S. population, and 5.5% of the U.S. economy in 2017.

Northern California Megaregion

The concept is seen as increasingly relevant in the context of a rapidly growing Northern California economy plagued by transportation issues and a lack of affordable housing.

Northern California Fires

Northern California is not a formal geographic designation. California’s north-south midway division is around 37° latitude, near the level of San Francisco. Popularly, though, “Northern California” usually refers to the state’s northernmost 48 counties. Because of California’s large size and diverse geography, the state can be subdivided in other ways as well. For example, the Central Valley is a region that is distinct both culturally and topographically from coastal California, though in northern versus southern California divisions, the Sacramento Valley and most of the San Joaquin Valley are usually placed in northern California.[citation needed]

The state is often considered as having an additional division north of the urban areas of the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento metropolitan areas. Extreme northern residents have felt under-represented in state government and in 1941 attempted to form a new state with southwestern Oregon to be called Jefferson, or more recently to introduce legislation to split California into two or three states. The coastal area north of the Bay Area is referred to as the North Coast, while the interior region north of Sacramento is referred by locals as the Northstate.

Cities and towns in northern California with more than 50,000 inhabitants
  • 1 – San Jose.
  • 2 – San Francisco.
  • 3 – Fresno.
  • 4 – Sacramento.
  • 5 – Oakland.
  • 6 – Stockton.
  • 7 – Fremont.
  • 8 – Modesto.

What is the best place to live in Northern California?

Best cities for young families in Northern California
Rank City Median household income in 2012
1 Clovis 63,983
2 Folsom 95,623
3 Dublin 112,679
4 Ridgecrest 60,885
11 Best Things to Do in Northern California
  • Walk Across the Golden Gate Bridge. …
  • Explore the Lost Coast. …
  • Marvel at a Giant Redwood Tree in Redwoods National and State Parks. …
  • Enjoy Wine Tasting in Napa Valley. …
  • Dine at Moss Beach Distillery. …
  • Unwind at Wilbur Hot Springs. …
  • Hike in Yosemite National Park.

Map Of Northern California

Map Of Northern California

Visit Santa Cruz, Oakland, Sacramento, Napa, and other unique destinations. From the sophistication of San Francisco, CA and high tech advances of San Jose to ancient sequoia forests and the untamed wilderness of its many parks, Northern California is a land of contrasts, breathtakingly beautiful, cherished and protected, visited by millions, and painted, described, and loved by artists for centuries.

1.Northern California Coast: Big Sur

Big Sur is a spectacularly beautiful stretch of California’s central coast located between Carmel and San Simeon, snuggled between the steep slopes of the Santa Lucia Mountains and the Pacific. Most tourists see this scenic area from the narrow State Route 1, which winds and turns beside steep seaside cliffs, offering lookout points every now and then.

The whole wild and misty area is very sparsely populated and offers great opportunities for hiking, beachcombing, exploring whale watching, and camping. Artists and writers discovered the area in the 1950s and ‘60s, finding inspiration in the rugged beauty and untamed wilderness. You can visit the house of Henry Miller, today a memorial library, McWay Falls and Cove, Bixby Creek Bridge, many small, quaint inns and restaurants, small picturesque beaches that are not easy to access but well worth it, and richness of rare plants and animals.

2.Yosemite National Park

The most famous, and the oldest, the national park in the world, Yosemite National Park in north California is 1,200 square miles of some of nature’s most beautiful creations, from deep valleys, wildflower-covered meadows, and 3,000-year-old giant sequoias to the vast High Sierra Mountains wilderness and thundering waterfalls that dry up in August, and so much more. Start your exploration in the valley, a one-mile-wide and seven-mile-long canyon created by a river and shaped by glaciers.

It is surrounded by enormous walls of towering domes and pinnacles, with El Capitan, the world’s largest exposed granite monolith, towering above the valley. From here, you can take one of the many marked trails that offer 800 miles of hiking through the park, from easy walks through forests to week-long endurance tests up the High Sierras. Along the way, you can spot the chipmunks, mule deer, brush rabbits, marmots, and warblers. Take a walk through towering red fir and pine forests, flowering dogwood, and dwarf willows, enormous ancient sequoias, pass spectacular waterfalls, and cool brooks. And once you leave the valley, you will not have to worry about the four million people that come to the park each year, you can be as alone as you wish, just you and nature.

3.Santa Cruz

Located on the northern end of Monterey Bay about 32 miles from San Jose, Santa Cruz is a quintessential small coastal town with beautiful sandy beaches, world-famous surf, spectacular mountains covered with ancient redwood forests, serene organic farms, and a thriving wine and beer scene.

Students from the University of California Santa Cruz add to the lively atmosphere and tourists love the combination of natural beauty and the old-town charm of historic Santa Cruz as well as the fantastic entertainment options at the oceanfront amusement park and the beautiful Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. Santa Cruz is a great place to learn to surf, watch experienced surfers, and get into the surfing spirit at Steamer Lane or at Pleasure Point.

4.San Jose

Snuggled between South Bay and the Santa Cruz Mountains, San Jose is the heart of Silicon Valley and the Bay Area’s main technological hub. Known as the home of many tech giants, San Jose is also a beautiful modern city with a vibrant downtown that has 250 restaurants, nine theaters, and many art galleries and museums.

Its beautiful architecture showcases the city’s rich past. Some of the most popular tourist spots are the Winchester Mystery House and the New Almaden Quicksilver Mining Museum. While exploring the city, you will pass through Japantown, one of the few left in the US, the artsy SoFA District, lively San Pedro Square, or the Convention and Cultural District, which has rich performing arts offerings.


A large port city just across the bridge from San Francisco, Oakland is a place of its own and has the most ethnically diverse population in the country. It is famous for its political activism as well as for its festivals, theatres, and galleries. Surrounded by many parks and with a spectacular view of the Bay and San Francisco, Oakland is a great place to visit.

Go star-gazing or watch the future unfold at the Chabot Space & Science Center, learn stand-up paddleboarding on Lake Merritt, hike through towering redwood forests at Redwood Regional Park, see more than 450 species of animals at the Oakland Zoo, and let the kids go wild at Children’s Fairyland. Then stroll down to Jack London Square on the city’s vibrant waterfront for some great food, people or boat watching, or to take a ferry to San Francisco.

Fires In Northern California

The Mendocino National Forest, only a three-hour drive north of San Francisco, is 913,306 acres of mountains and canyons in the coastal mountain range, luring those who seek solitude and quiet. From 750 feet in the Grindstone Creek Canyon in the foothills of the Sacramento Valley to the 8,092 feet of South Yolla Bolly Mountain, the elevation changes dramatically, and with it the flora and wildlife at home there.

Check out the rustic old Pine Mountain Lookout at 4,000 feet, surrounded by dense pine and fir forest, or visit the Red Bluff Recreation Area where you will find a mix of oak forests, grasslands covered with wildflowers, wetlands, and the cool, clear Sacramento River, home to 125 species of birds and many wild animals. There are four miles of trails offering great views of Mount Lassen, Mount Shasta, and the Yolla Bolly Mountains.

Redwood National and State Parks is a group of four old-growth temperate rainforests located along the coast of northern California: Redwood National Park, Del Norte Coast, Jedediah Smith, and Prairie Creek Redwoods State Parks. Together, they cover 139,000 acres and protect 45 percent of all globally remaining coastal redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) forests. Sequoias are the tallest species of tree on Earth and can live up to 3,000 years.

Besides sequoias, the parks also protect grassland prairie, rivers, streams, animals, and other plants living in this ecosystem, many of them endangered or threatened, as well as 37 miles of pristine unspoiled coastline. Take a hike through the massive redwood groves, visit pristine sandy beaches, and quaint little hamlets like Klamath, where the Klamath river spills into the sea. The Klamath overlook offers a fantastic spot to watch passing whales.

Northern California Fire

The Pacific Gas & Electric Co. proactively shut off power to more than 48,000 Northern California customers in the face of an elevated fire risk that was expected to continue through Wednesday evening.

Customers in parts of Butte, Nevada, Plumas, and Yuba counties lost power at 2:30 a.m. Wednesday. According to PG&E’s outage map, power was restored to some areas by 8 a.m., but regions near Chico and Yuba City were without electricity nearly six hours later.

Western parts of the Sacramento Valley and nearby foothills also remain under a severe fire threat, with high temperatures, strong winds reaching up to 40 mph, and humidity levels of 10% to 20%, the National Weather Service said.

The fire warning in the northern portion of the state will be in effect until 7 p.m. Wednesday. Temperatures are expected to dip the rest of the week.

The cool-down is already beginning in Southern California, where an early-season trough and a deep marine layer were settling in. As a result, temperatures in Los Angeles County will climb into the high 80s Wednesday before dropping to the mid-70s later this week, said Bonnie Bartling, a meteorologist with the weather service in Oxnard. There’s even a potential for drizzle on Friday and Saturday, she said.

“It’s just trying to bring us some fall,” Bartling said.

Despite the cooler temperatures ahead, a fire warning remains in effect in Los Angeles, Ventura, and Santa Barbara counties until 9:30 a.m., the weather service said.

Southern California Edison shut off power Tuesday to 85 customers during the peak of the area’s fire risk. More than 150,000 customers were notified of the potential for power outages.

Northern California Coast

The outage is a precaution to lessen the risk of the company’s equipment starting a wildfire during, especially dry and windy conditions.
It is the second consecutive public safety power shutoff that PG&E has initiated this week. The shutoff affects seven counties: Butte, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sonoma, and Yuba, the company said in a press release.
The shutoff is scheduled to start in the early morning hours, and windy weather conditions are expected to last until noon Wednesday, according to PG&E.
On Monday, about 24,000 customers were in the dark across Butte, Nevada, and Yuba counties, the company said. Power was restored by 6 p.m. on Tuesday.
“After the dry and windy weather has passed and it is safe to do so, likely on Tuesday morning, PG&E crews will work to visually inspect each mile of our power lines to ensure they are free from damage and safe to energize,” the company said.
Elsewhere in the state, Southern California Edison has 152,500 customers under consideration for a public safety power shutoff for potentially dangerous weather conditions in fire-prone areas, according to the company’s website. On Tuesday, 141,500 were under consideration, but power was shut off to only 85 customers.
PG&E settles with insurance companies for $11 billion in California wildfires, the utility says
In May, California regulators passed down new rules to utilities about intentionally cutting power to prevent wildfires. The California Public Utilities Commission previously said the state’s investor-owned electric utilities could proactively interrupt power to reduce the chances that their equipment could cause or contribute to a wildfire.
A utility might do so in high winds, for example.
Earlier this month, the utility giant settled with insurance companies for $11 billion for claims stemming from the devastating 2017 wildfires in northern parts of the state, as well as the 2018 Camp Fire.
And in June, the company paid $1 billion in damages to local governments for blazes linked to its power lines, poles, and other equipment.
The company has previously said it’s “probable” that its equipment started the 2018 Camp Fire, California’s deadliest and most destructive when a power line touched nearby trees. By April, it had cited at least $7 billion in claims from that wildfire.

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